Fresh off their 16-7 loss to the  San Francisco 49ers (box score) the Reds return home to play the Texas Rangers. The game starts at 3:05 p.m. ET. The only broadcast is radio WSAI-1360.

Here is the lineup:

  1. Jose Peraza 2B
  2. Tyler Holt CF
  3. Joey Votto 1B
  4. Adam Duvall LF
  5. Jay Bruce DH
  6. Yorman Rodriguez RF
  7. Eric Jagielo 3B
  8. Tucker Barnhart C
  9. Carlton Daal SS

Tim Melville will start for the Reds.

Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Tim Melville / Photo: Cincinnati Enquirer

Lineup Thoughts

Michael Lorenzen was scheduled to start but was scratched. Lorenzen says he’s healthy (Rosecrans). Beat writers will ask Price about the swtich when they meet with him at 12:15 p.m. ET. (See update below, cover eyes first.)

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Michael Lorenzen / Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Update on Lorenzen: I’m going to pass this along without comment. Because of the site guidelines concerning language.

On the bright side, Mark Sheldon reports that the ultrasound on Lorenzen’s elbow showed no serious injury.

Jose Peraza leads off, with Tyler Holt batting second. Three Opening Day starters in the lineup, if you count Adam Duvall.

Say ‘hello’ to Eric Jagielo who makes his first start for the Reds. Jagielo (23) is a power-hitting third baseman who played college ball at Notre Dame. The Reds acquired him from the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Questions abound regarding his defense. Justin Merry’s composite ranking of Reds prospects has Jagielo #17. Here is Grant Freking’s scouting report on Jagielo.

Video: What Reds Fans Can Look Forward To?

23 seconds long.

News and Reading

 Good news regarding Raisel Iglesias and the simulated game he pitched yesterday. Mark Sheldon (MLB.com)

Following one more session vs. hitters in camp for Iglesias, Reds manager Bryan Price expected him to make his Cactus League debut Monday vs. the Angels in Tempe. He is expected to make five spring starts and be on schedule for the regular season, likely to pitch from the fifth spot on or around April 10.

“It’s not really a concern from a health perspective,” Price said. “It’s just getting him strong enough to handle the workload and gaining more flexibility, which was an offseason goal, one of the reasons we didn’t start him throwing earlier. I think he’s ready. Realistically he could go into a game right now, but we’re not going to do that.”

Zach Buchanan (Cincinnati Enquirer) has a long post about Eugenio Suarez. It reports on Suarez’s goals for 2016, building on his 2015 season, taking over at 3B for Todd Frazier and getting advice from you-know-who on hitting to the opposite field.

He’s just as confident about his ability to play third, and just as focused on maximizing his abilities there. He does a lot of reaction drills with infield coach Freddie Benavides before workouts in the mornings, and also takes grounders from Benavides during batting practice.

Even after Benavides stops slapping baseballs at him, Suarez remains in ready position in order to watch the ball coming off the bat of whoever is in the cage. He has yet to take any grounders at short, the position he’s played his entire life.

Reminder: Patrick Jeter’s projection for Suarez. Nick Carrington on Suarez’s future as a shortstop.

Mark Sheldon also has the latest on Zack Cozart. The Reds shortstop is on schedule to start his first game in the next few days (Friday).

“It’s been so long. It will be nine months exactly in two days since I got hurt,” Cozart said Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m just really excited. I’m interested to see how I’ll feel out there. Each day I come in and get my ground balls and I see the ball live off the bat during batting practice, it gets easier and easier. Everything is slowing down for me. The first day I was out there seeing it, it was ‘Dang, these balls are being hit really hard. I don’t know about this.’ But every day is getting easier and easier. I feel good. I’m a normal guy.”

Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Zack Cozart / Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/Enquirer

Reminder: Mike Maffie’s analysis of Cozart’s early 2015 hitting success. Grant Freking on Cozart rebuilding his trade value this year.

Gary Schatz reports on Jumbo Diaz and that the Reds want him to use his splitter and slider more.

Reds bullpen coach Mack Jenkins has been analyzing the pitchers with video charting their pitches. For example, does a pitcher get hit harder when he throws inside to left-handed batters or outside? This has led the Reds to have Diaz work on his other pitches.

“Jumbo has three really good pitches but he has to access those pitches,” Price said. “Everyone knows he’s going to attack at 95-100 miles per hour but to then have to contend with that split as a right-hander hitter or the slider is really tough.”

Reminder: Addison Kimmel on Diaz being too big to fail.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 47 Comments

  1. All I can say about Lorenzen, “Sufferin’ succotash!”
    I was just thinking this morning how lucky the Reds have been so far in spring training without any big injuries yet. Cueto and Bailey in 2011. Madson and Massett in 2012. Latos and Chapman in 2014.
    Hopefully all he needs is a couple days of rest.

    • It is old stuff to those who are regulars here; but, as much as I have bemoaned the Reds decision to try and convert Lorenzen into a pitcher versus developing him as what he was in the highest levels of collegiate competition, a top flight center fielder with a career OPS above .900, I will be sad for the kid if he ends up back on an OF development track because of bum elbow brought on by being force fed starting pitching.

  2. I really want one of those Cincinnati Strength shirt Cozart is wearing. Anyone know if they are for sale?

  3. And from the 2 years too late updates…

    Per Jeff Sanders/San Diego Union-Tribune via twitter…

    Skip Schumaker has left #Padres. Not using word retirement, Andy Green says, but time to be a husband and a father.

    • 1st BB of the spring. That’s a good thing for Peraza.

      • Next time up, he came up with a runner on first base, and with a 2-0 count, he couldn’t imagine the thought of two walks in a game. Instead, he grounded into a DP.

  4. Price is now on the record regarding his anticipated lineup for 2016 and it’s not good news for the Reds. Price has as big a man-crush on Phillips as Dusty had, except Dusty at least managed during Phillips best seasons, not his declining seasons.

    Per Sheldon, Joey Votto would likely bat third, followed by Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce.

    “If the season started today, that’s the case with who we have on the field,” Price said Tuesday. “Lineups for me are things that can always evolve and move around. Without having Devin [Mesoraco] playing yet and trying to find out who we have in left field, or left- or right-handed starter, it definitely could fluctuate. I’m pretty comfortable with Joey-Brandon three-four.

    Price was asked where third baseman Eugenio Suarez could bat.

    “You really could see him probably two or six,” Price said. “That would make the most sense with the way the club is shaping up right now. Maybe at seven. … That two-spot seems like a good place for him, especially if Billy [Hamilton] is leading off and getting on base. That should give him some good pitches to hit. With Billy there, you don’t really have to hit-and-run as much.”

    • it’s so rare I see a quote from Price that gives me any level of confidence in his ability to be an effective ML manager

    • I think BP batting cleanup will be this season’s Kevin Gregg. He’ll get important opportunities and then consistently fail. Instead of blown saves, we’ll see weak grounders with the bases loaded. I don’t understand why this organization treats Phillips with kid gloves. He’s bad mouthed ownership, bad mouthed the press, refused to consider opposing viewpoints, blocked a trade that would have helped the team, and is no longer an exceptional talent. After all of that, he’ll still play every day, get his coveted RBI opportunities, and be a featured face of the 2016 club. It’s a shame he’s a fan favorite while half the town thinks Joey Votto is too passive and is the one weighing the team down with his contract…

      • If Price is so committed to Phillips hitting in the middle of the lineup, at least hit Votto in the #2 hole, Phillips in the #3 hole and Bruce in the #4 hole. Designating Hamilton as the leadoff hitter is even more egrigious than hitting Phillips in the middle of the lineup. Phillips will lead the universe in GIDP for 2016 and may set an all-time MLB record in the process.

      • If Mes isn’t hitting clean-up and getting game action soon, heaven help us all. When do I worry?

        • @Matt: I would start worrying in about 10 days, at least that’s the timetable for my anxiety to set in.

      • Hmmm…as much as I hate to think this…maybe Price is telling Billy…you should be a lead off hitter and if you can’t hack it…see ya????? We got other center fielders

    • It’s a little odd considering that admittedly without looking, I could have sworn he had BP 6th and 7th at the beginning of the season.

    • I can’t say anything except “sigh.”

    • BP had an awful game last night vs. Giants. Numerous mental errors. Even the Giants announcers questioned why he wasn’t running with 2 outs when the LF dropped a ball. BP should have scored but jogged into 3rd. ST or not, this isn’t acceptable.

  5. On the positive side of the ledger, it is good to hear that apparently Iglesias is ready to go.

    • He’s getting a ton of off-season hype, both fantasy and otherwise. Sometimes I wonder if our young guys like Stephenson, Winker, Iglesias, etc. would cause more excitement if they were in a bigger market.

      • Then run Iglesias put together last season from late July into August would probably have generated lots of excitement anywhere and everywhere if the team he did it with had not been losing 70%+ of their games during the same period.

  6. Duvall jumps up with a 2-out error in the top of the 2nd resulting in an unearned run. That’s the argument for Rodriguez in a LF platoon with Schebler, rather than Duvall platooning with Schebler in LF. Rodriguez also saved a run in the 1st inning, gunning down Choo attempting to go 1B to 3B.

    • A bad error on its own is an isolated event just like a single AB. However if a trend develops, that’s another thing.

      • Yep. Duvall is still learning to play LF, so the jury is still out regarding his defensive capability in the OF, but Y-Rod is an excellent defensive OF.

        • I see a complicating factor being that the RH hitting side of an LF platoon also probably needs to be the potentially game changing RH pinch hitter. It seems a pretty certain bet Duvall is going to run into his fair share plus of pitches; and, he has even shown some signs of not being an overall OBP disaster. Meanwhile YRod remains mostly toolsy. YRod could help himself and the team by uncomplicating things with some hitting.

    • One thing that could help Duvall or anyone like him is that the outfield is so small in GABP and Hamilton is so fast. Now on the road somewhere like SF or Colorado with a state park sized outfield is another story? Plus who knows how much Hamilton will play?

      • Agree. With even an average RF, Hamilton can cheat the gaps in many parks and allow the LF to be a line guard. Cave and Holt also look like they can cover ground too though; so, such a strategy isn’t necessarily dependent on Hamilton in CF.

        In the NL Central, such a strategy would probably play well everywhere but at PNC/ Pittsburgh. For the Reds, counting their home games, that totals up to around 100 games.

        • Just rethought my math. It is actually more like ~110 games just inside the division. Too many variables in number of games in visiting parks outside the division in a given year but outside the Central, Phillie, ATL and even Dodger stadium probably play small enough for such a strategy.

    • And don’t forget that the Reds can use a RH hitter in right field for Bruce against the tougher lefties.

      I believe that whatever platoon they come up with in LF this year will out-perform almost every year post-Dunn.

    • My Friday article will be about platoons!

  7. Vs RHP

    Schebler Votto Suarez Mesoraco BP Bruce Cozart P Hamilton

    Vs LHP

    BP Votto Suarez Mesoraco Duvall Bruce Cozart P Hamilton

    If Mesoraco can’t play then this whole thing needs to be blown up again? Trade/bench Cozart and go with the young guys. I don’t care how good these guys are defensively….you need better than average offensive production at several positions to be competitive! If Mesoraco has to be shutdown again then stick Winkler in LF, platoon Duvall at 3B and move Suarez back to SS and play Schebler some in CF?

    • Mesoraco hasn’t been all that good against RHP in his major league career, thus far. I’d bat him much lower against RHP. But, 4th against LHP sounds perfect.

      • The difficult issue here is defining who Mesoraco is at the plate. There is no question that Mesoraco crushes LHP. His OPS against LHP was .803 (2012), .874 (2013) & .925 (2014). The issue becomes Mesoraco’s 2014 performance. Was 2014 an outlier or did the real Mesoraco step up with consistent playing time? Mesoraco’s OPS against RHP in 2014 was .883. If Mesoraco comes anywhere close to his 2014 performance, he hits cleanup every game and twice on Sundays, irrespective of who is pitching. The multi-million dollar question is that big ‘ol IF.

        The other side of that coin is if Mesoraco’s 2014 season represented an oulier, then it really doesn’t make any difference, because the Reds are going down in flames with a young, inexperienced pitching staff and an ineffective offense.

    • You don’t care how good they are defensively? A run saved counts just as much as a run scored, and since the one thing the Reds have in quantity is young pitching talent, defense assumes even greater importance. You need hitting, too, but you can’t be good without both in reasonable quantity.

  8. Finally was able to take a peek at the Gamecast. Not too good for our Redlegs today it would seem.

    • Hopefully this is not the full force of reality setting in already.

      • It has already set in for me. Hamilton leading off, starting, or even on the bench. Suarez moving to third to make room for Cozart back at short, who, except for the start of last season, competed with Hamiton for low hitting honors.

  9. The Baltimore Orioles have released a nice RH relief pitcher, Andrew Triggs, to make room on their 40-man roster for Pedro Alvarez. He will be 27 in a week or two and has only one game at AAA. He is a sinker-ball pitcher with very good ground ball rates, K/9 rates, excellent BB/9 and HR/9 rates. Baltimore was expecting him to be a ML arrival in 2016 sometime. He could be a welcome addition to the Reds bullpen, can start out at AAA, and sometime in 2016 get the call for the Reds. Here is some info on him. This guy could end up being a closer.

    http://touch.baltimoresun.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-85574209/

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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2016 Spring Training

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